We now start with our blog feature: The Track Cyclist of the Day. In this segment, we will feature several track cyclists, some popular, others well past their prime, including the lesser known track cyclist. Some information is pulled from the web, while others are recollections based on our experience. We’d like to first feature cyclists who we have met and have personally seen in the track especially those who are not as popular as Chris Hoy.
Our first featured track cyclist is Greek professional track cyclist Christos Volikakis. While the Greeks generally haven’t been doing well in track cycling for years, Christos defies that by bringing to the table impressive career highlights, something Greeks haven’t done in decades. His performance immediately eclipses that of his Greek colleagues and while we’re no sports analysts, we believe Christos is the biggest thing in track cycling in Greece and one of the most promising track cyclists today, at a young age of 22.
Shown here (L-R) is Christos Volikakis, Chris Hoy and Maximilian Levy in the UCI World Track Championships. Christos has proved to be a formidable competitor to even the biggest names in track cycling. Christos specializes in Sprint, Team Sprint, and Keirin.
We have seen Christos in action and his performance is certainly amazing. Something befitting of a medalist. He possesses both speed and power even though at first look you wouldn’t expect this young man to be so powerful, since he is quite petite as compared to the other track cyclists. Nevertheless, there seems to be no height disadvantage for him at any track cycling event at all, although the belief that taller cyclists perform better has been debunked for years. His build is definitely that of an ectomorphic mesomorph being more of a mesomorph while maintaining a somewhat lean upper body structure (though with rigid and broad shoulders and muscle build). He fits the definition of a rectangular male body, that of a mesomorph with a hard body, mature muscle mass and excellent posture. Take a look at his performance at this video clip.
The clip is from the Manchester World Cup Keirin where Christos got 3rd against Chris Hoy and Teun Mulder. Take a look at his form and performance especially during the final seconds of the round. I could not say if this was a good tactic since I’m not good at analyzing track cycling events.
Here is Christos Volikakis winning 1st in the 2007 National Track Championships Sprint Elite. He is nearly dwarfed by his podium-mates. But take a look at those calves and thighs, the main source of power in a track cyclist.
This photo shows Christos Volikakis and his brother Zafeiris, who is another respectable track cyclist. Here, there is good definition in both the calves and the thighs, again the most important source of power for track cyclists. Also take note that Christos has a well defined upper extremity and trunk, a prerequisite for weight training for track cyclists even though some analysts argue that developing the chest and upper extremities doesn’t necessarily lead to performance increase among track cyclists. It will be discussed in another post why the chest and upper extremities are important to track cyclists.
Here Christos Volikakis is with his team members and mentors who have a sizeable advantage in height. But Christos beats them in the thigh and calves department so no worries there. The pelvic anatomy requires sturdy and large pelvic bones to support the insertion of the muscles of the thigh. Christos certainly has the skeletal pelvic anatomy nailed.
Here is Christos Volikakis in the bike just before the start of the Sprint Match of the National Track Championships. It is worth noting that I’ve seen Christos twice in action, and he looks perfectly calm in both instances. This is one of our observations with track cyclists, a lot of them are perfectly calm before the start of a race and when the race is over, they’re gasping for breath. But Christos is amazingly calm for someone so young. I got a chance to talk to him and I was even surprised by his humility even though he is being praised in Greece. Of course, the broken english didn’t help but he’s a good kid and we know that judging by the few minutes we got to spend with him. An amazing person indeed.
Christos is not only proficient in the sprint and keirin events but also in team sprint. Here is Christos with his teammates which include his brother Zafeiris (left) having won the 1st place in the team sprint category in the 2006 Open Balkan Championship Track Team Sprints. His teammates also had the added advantage of a well developed calf and thighs, and it should also be known that Christos is a very good team player. This has always been one of the most admired traits for this guy and his participation and exceptional performance in the team sprints is definitely proof of that.
So here’s a another photo. Christos with his brother Zafeiris, both are dwarfed by the third cyclist. We will revisit Christos again someday in this blog. We wish Christos Volikakis good luck in his cycling career. We are confident he will reach new heights and place a name for himself in the history of Greek sports. Below are magazine scans of Christos Volikakis and the Greek cycling team.
And another magazine scan of the Greek track cycling team:
Other photos of Christos Volikakis:
On the podium with Arnaud Tournant and another prominent Australian track cyclist.
Here’s Christos Volikakis (far right) together with his brother Zafeiris and the other Greek cyclists. These cyclists seem to have very well built thighs and calves.
Here’s Christos in the podium with Maximilian Levy. Christos is smaller compared to the other cyclists but his lower extremities look as well developed or even better than Max’s.
Here is Christos in the rollers. Again take a look at those thigh muscles for someone so small (but still can’t beat Robert Foerstemann or Rene Enders who are smaller than Christos but have bigger thighs)
And let’s end with this photo. Here is Christos Volikakis without lycra. He looks good even without lycra. Good luck Christos!